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Your best bet for pet meds

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Americans love their pets – 65% of households have one. But when Fido or Felix gets sick, most pet owners end up paying out-of-pocket for medications, and few people have pet health insurance that covers this expense. This is an important economic issue for consumers, so the FTC hosted a public workshop and gathered information about the sale of pet medications. Here are some of the findings.

Comparison-shopping can help you manage your pet’s health care costs. Unlike doctors for humans, veterinarians write and fill their own prescriptions – and many pet owners get their meds that way. But pet owners today have other options, such as retailers and pharmacies, including those online. So, if your pet gets sick or needs medications on an ongoing basis:

  • Comparison shop. If your veterinarian recommends a prescription medication, talk to your vet about your options. Check to see if local or online pharmacies carry the medication, and compare prices.
  • Ask for a prescription. If you want to shop around, ask your veterinarian to give you a written prescription, or to send it directly to the pharmacy.
  • Think it through. As you weigh your options, consider non-price factors – like convenience, the time spent shopping or waiting for delivery, and how urgently your pet needs the medication. Keep in mind that some veterinarians now offer online ordering and home delivery options, and may also match competitors’ prices.
  • Check the source. If you buy online, make sure the site is licensed and reputable. Look for pharmacies that are approved by Vet-VIPPS, an accrediting body for online veterinary pharmacies.
  • Consider over-the-counter. Some pet medications, including many flea and tick treatments, may not require a prescription. It’s still a good idea to discuss treatment options with your vet. Many retailers sell these products, so you can easily comparison-shop at stores or online.
  • Set it and forget it. Some sellers let you set up automatic refill and home delivery for medications your pet needs on a recurring basis.
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Is it legal in the USA for a pharmaceutical company to require their distributors to only sell their products only to veterinarian practices and not to licensed online pharmacies, increasing the changes of the pet owner buying a knock-off

Your comment about asking for a prescription from the veterinarian, is great advice. I don't know much about pet meds, but they do. They can help me, help my pet. Thanks for sharing your comments.

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